D-Day Landing tables question

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by a well camel, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Would appreciate any help/advice on the landing tables shown on the excellent site: www.6juin1944.com
    In particular what source documents were used to compile the information for each landing craft, and has anyone had problems reconciling the tables with other sources.
    I have a problem with specific LCT’s on Gold as part of 231Bgd.
    Here is what I have from talks with my father:
    · H Section Signals CRA to land Gold Jig-Red at H+90mins.
    · That part of the Section to land was one half-track (M14), one four wheeled frame, carrying back-up sets (‘the pram’) and eight men (Officer, NCO and six signalmen)
    · They were all on one LCT
    · Serial number of LCT included numbers 2,5 and 6 on front side by ramp and on a pennant at the rear (possibly..not sure on flag)
    · First vehicle off was big Dodge, Omaha liaison jeep with a U S Major and driver.
    · Other vehicles – two Bren carriers, a flail and a fascine tank.
    · About ten or twelve Hampshires (“ in their shorts”) rolled out the coconut matting on landing.
    Unfortunately I cannot paste from the site without causing a big mess so anyone will need to go into the site, apologies. I’m looking at 231 landing details for LCT’s 2155/2156 and 2157, but obviously 2156 in particular.
    Can anyone explain them with reference to the above, and does anyone know what ‘N Section’ on 2157 are.
    Many thanks for any help
  2. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    N Section of Divisional signals is the section provided for Royal Engineers,
    i.e. for Divisional Commander Royal Engineers and his staff.

  3. Thanks for that Noel

  4. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    JonS asked me to post this:

    Source : Archives New Zealand / Te Rua Mahara o te Kãwanatanga
    Wellington Office - Reference: WAII 1, DA491.5/3

    All the best

  5. Andreas/JonS,

    Thanks, Mike (Trux) has given me the New Zealand Source for LCT's in a bit more detail and also the ?original? from WO 219/3077.

    Getting a spread sheet together to compare, but discrepencies on all three both in vehicles, disembarking order and number of men aboard.

    Unfortunately work is getting in the way at the mo. But hope to continue this soon.

  6. Thanks to Mike at Trux for all his help and advice.

    I have attached PDF's of the three LCT's with the New Zealand chart as set out in the records and compared with the WO list which has been adjusted
    so that any tie-ins with the other list are followed across.
    Entries in bold agree with PRO WO 219/3077
    Entries in italics show discrepancies
    Personnel on each craft are also shown.

    Also added an explanation from Mike on the discrepancies
    View attachment 43785

    View attachment 43786

    View attachment 43787

    (Hope this works!)

    The problem with research is that it always throws up more questions than answers. I assumed since the New Zealand Landing Tables were in the papers of the official New Zealand observer, who landed on Gold on D day, that they would be correct and be the latest version. He gathered all sorts of documents marked secret. Certainly they seem to be later than the PRO versions.

    The organisation of getting the right personnel and vehicles to the right craft at the right time was enormous. It also had to be completed in time for exercises to be held with the same teams, as far as possible. Of course part of the point of exercises is to find and correct problems before the event. There was a steady stream of amendments to the tables but somewhere there will be a final and correct version. Since this was a SHAEF planning operation it is thought that they may be in the USA. However there was no room for flexibility once he final tables were issued. Vehicles were measured to the inch. Movement orders to get units to the embarkation ports, boarding tables and landing tables had to be prepared and all manner of movement control staffs, provost units, Military Landing Officers and Beachmasters had to prepare there own tables."

    Any other comments appreciated before I put this on the back burner.

  7. JonS

    JonS Member

    Hi Mel,
    I asked Andreas to post the above, then realised how profoundly unhelpful that reference would have been :rolleyes:

    Then I had a 'mare getting a log in, but I'm here now :)

    The source, in a bit more detail than the WAII reference, is Brigadier Hargest's Notes From Normandy, found in the NZ National Archives. The full box contains a bunch of handwritten observations, which Max Hastings - amongst others - mined selectively for anything that cast the British in a poor light. It - the box of files - also contains all sorts of operational orders, maps, int reports, and any other official documentation he could get his pilfering hands on, including the landing tables that are on 6Juin. The dates on the landing tables are as follows:
    56 Bde (1st and 2nd Tide) - 4 May 44, amended 15 May 44
    151 Bde (Tides 1 and 2) - amended, undated
    69 Inf Bde - Amended as at 15 May 44
    231 Bde - 12 May 44, amended 15 May 44

    All amendments are by hand.

    There is apparently a copy of Hargest's notes in PRO CAB 106/1060, which is where Hastings, et al, would presumably have got their eyes on. I've uploaded a transcript I made a couple of years ago of Hargest's observations.

    Best Regards

    Attached Files:

  8. Thanks Jon,

    From what I have read Hargest had no axe to grind with the British and just recorded what he saw as an impartial observer (with the eyes of an officer who had served in WW1).

    If his comments are read in context they are reasoned and constructive and I agree that many authors have looked to create controversy out of his reports.

    The troops were tired, short of seasoned replacements (officers and NCO's especially so.) and the Bocage was a whole new nightmare for armour previously used to fighting in the open.

    Interesting that the charts were amended. It may be that further changes were made? Dad seems pretty sure of the vehicles/men on the LCT. He would have been aboard from 2 June.
    Thanks for the notes which I look forward to reading through.

  9. JonS

    JonS Member

    From what I have read Hargest had no axe to grind with the British and just recorded what he saw as an impartial observer (with the eyes of an officer who had served in WW1).
    Some of them read to me as being written by someone suffering a bad case of colonial cringe, but generally; yeah, I agree. Also, of course, he was writing to inform a private audience, not sell books. The distinction is important I think.

    The troops were tired, short of seasoned replacements (officers and NCO's especially so.)
    I'm not sure if that's true of the June-July period, is it?

    Interesting that the charts were amended. It may be that further changes were made?
    Probably, although I imagine the changes were in the form of an inverted funnel - up to two months out there'd have been whole units moving in and out of the initial landings, changing sequence, and switching ship or craft. Up to a couple of weeks out there may have been sub units making the same kind of shuffles. Up to just before sailing there'd have been individuals getting changed around, and single additional vehicles getting crammed in as the CO of the 1st Queens Own Bottle Washers realised he just wouldn't be able to get by without his personal piper and a jeep to get about in.
  10. I cant comment directly on this document, but might provide the perspective of someone with some experience in amphibious operations.

    Yes in the USMC we did measure vehicals and deck space to the inch and construct complex load plans. The 'But' is that no matter how carefully construted load plans have errors and it is up to the harrased officers, sergeants, and petty officers to make corrections of the run. It is also true that those same men, when doing the actual loading will make changes as necessary on the run, without any documentation. It happened on every ship or boat I was involved with loading, or unloading. Sometimes the changes were minor, sometimes major, but they always occured.

    In this case Eisenhower & his staff at SHAEF, or Monty & his 21st AG staff were not walking about every dock checking every LCT against the manifests. So I'm not suprised at all there might be discovered a difference between what one eyewitness or another recorded and what was planned by some other person.

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